Bachmann 158. older version

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Ken Shabby
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:20 pm

Bachmann 158. older version

Postby Ken Shabby » Sat Nov 07, 2020 9:21 am

Hi,
I am considering buying a Bachmann Class 158. I rarely buy new models anymore and so I am looking out for a early version of this model, I understand it has been produced on and off for a number of years. I have no experience of servicing or repairing Bachmann models other than replacing loose windows on a Class 20, so I was wondering If someone could advise me whether the older 158 is a decent runner and If there are any common faults with this unit ?.

Thanks, Ken

Mike Parkes
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Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:25 pm

Re: Bachmann 158. older version

Postby Mike Parkes » Sat Nov 07, 2020 10:42 am

There were body parts coming loose issues with the early ones.

Review in the Spring 1998 issue of Model Rail comments

"I missed out on the original Bachmann Class 158. I did feel that I ought to have one to fill the gap in my DMU collection but by the time I'd decided, the problematic first batch had already been either sold or withdrawn. Thus, I never saw their problems first-hand, although I did witness the ends fall out of one model when an attempt was made to couple the coaches together. Nothing, I thought, that a spot of glue wouldn't cure! I was pleasantly surprised, therefore, when I learned that Bachmann intended to re-tool the model to both to overcome these difficulties and incorporate improvements."

The review that looks at those improved models which were
31-500A 1558860 Regional Railways
31-501 1558702 Scotrail Express
31-502 158906 West Yorks PTE Metro

The only earlier produced model was 31-500 158791 Regional Railways.

If you use DCC, or might use in the future, these do need a major strip down to fit a decoder and the new model scores noticeably in that respect. There are obvious improvements as you would expect after nearly a quarter of a century with the new model but old one looks right in the vast majority of aspects and certainly from a normal layout viewing distance of around 3ft.

With its twin bogie pick ups there should not be any running issues.

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SRman
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Re: Bachmann 158. older version

Postby SRman » Sat Nov 07, 2020 10:48 am

As Mike said, DCC conversion involves hard-wiring, and the lights also need dealing with - if using a two-car unit then another decoder or some wire connections for the lights in the unpowered car are needed. If it's a three-car unit or a 159, the motor is in the centre car so is easily hard-wired, but once again, either two more decoders are needed to work the lights in the unpowered driving coaches, or wire connectors are needed to get power from the central decoder.

Running qualities are generally very good. If there is a vibration or rumble, it is usually because the motor has shifted out of its cradle (often in transit), throwing the shafts out of balance. That is usually an easy fix too.

Bigmet
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Bachmann 158. older version

Postby Bigmet » Sat Nov 07, 2020 10:57 am

The first version had the same generic layout of centre motor mechanism as found in their diesel traction, which is very satisfactory. The common problems with this type of drive: there's a small risk of a split gear in a bogie drive train (but the traction is so ample that releasing the worm so that an affected bogie can freewheel is a quick cure); sometimes a drive coupler in the flywheel comes loose, very easy fix with a dot of superglue. (For the rest very simple, just basic 'hygiene' aspects common to all models: no leaking lubricant on the wheels, clean off track dirt on tyres, check the pick up wipers bear properly on the wheelbacks and haven't collected dirt or fluff, and that all soldered joints are still good.)

The motor Bachmann use appears to be unburstable. I have a couple in Bachmann class 45s bought in 1992 which ran outdoors for some years, and are now stripped down as BoBo 'mules' to operate my track cleaning drag, still running as well as ever. (One of these as an experiment has had no service attention whatsoever, just to satisfy my curiosity about how effective the grease packing in the gear towers would prove to be. Bear in mind it started its working life outdoors, and I would operate in the wet. Still going, trouble free, only change has been the addition of a DCC decoder. Beats all previous RTR OO for robustness and reliability in service, including the venerable clunkers from H-D, always starts, smoother running from a slower dead slow and with superior pick up and traction to boot, and all for £32 = £3.20 in 1962!)

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Ken Shabby
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Re: Bachmann 158. older version

Postby Ken Shabby » Sat May 22, 2021 12:17 am

dmusoldandnew.jpg


I finally bought one this week, and it turned up this morning. It's a very smooth runner and I'm very happy with it.
Ken

Bigmet
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Re: Bachmann 158. older version

Postby Bigmet » Sat May 22, 2021 11:41 am

Ken Shabby wrote:... It's a very smooth runner and I'm very happy with it.

Which is good for what is now a 20+ year old model...

(I well remember all the dooming and glooming over can motors, as compared to 'robust, fully user serviceable', open frame motors. I'll take the 'robust and no need to service' better running can motor option, any day of the week!)


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